It is a title. It needs no article.
Student or Learner
Why there is no article in front of Defense Secretary? I think "the" should be there.
Feb 27, 2013 9:05am ABC News
Chuck Hagel was sworn in as Defense Secretary today shortly after arriving to the Pentagon for his first day on the job.
In the UK, we tend to use the article more as they're offices rather than titles.
1. I agree with you.
a. As you know, newspapers often leave out "unnecessary" words in order to make the sentence sound more lively.
2. In my opinion, the "correct" sentence should have been:
"Chuck Hagel was sworn in as the secretary of defense shortly after arriving to ["at"?] the Pentagon for his first day on the job."
a. Most American newspapers no longer capitalize titles unless it precedes the person's name:
i. [My sentence] "Many people rushed to congratulate Secretary of Defense Hegel on his appointment."
P.S. He is no longer the secretary of defense / defense secretary.